It’s a challenge these days to volunteer. Fortunately, nonprofits like Central Texas Food Bank have found ways to allow people to volunteer safely. In working with the food bank, you’ll be helping Texans affected by COVID-19.
Established in 1982, the Central Texas Food Bank’s mission is to help those in the community in need of food. While Central Texas is among the fastest-growing regions in the U.S., many members of the community are struggling. They have to make difficult choices due to the increasing costs of housing, transportation, healthcare, and utilities.
About the Central Texas Food Bank
Two-thirds of the people the food bank serves have to decide between food and paying for housing. And 80 percent have to choose between food and medicine. Hunger affects working families, retirees on fixed incomes, non-traditional guardians of children, people with disabilities, and the chronically ill. Almost 25 percent of children in Central Texas live with food insecurity.
Working with Partner Agencies in 21 counties in Central Texas, the food bank has delivered almost 40 million pounds of food to a family in need in the 2017 to 2018 fiscal year. This is an average of 200,000 individuals every month!
They have a 4,200-square-foot kitchen to prepare meals from scratch for multiple programs, offer culinary job training, and create volunteering opportunities. The kitchen combines meal preparation and job training to improve people’s employment options and reduce the problems that lead to hunger.
They also have a garden with 36 different crops. Adults can sign up for gardening classes and learn how to grow and harvest their own food. The nonprofit also does advocacy and supports other programs such as Fresh Food for Families, Healthy Options Program for the Elderly (HOPE), Commodity Supplemental Food Program, and more.
How to Volunteer
One of the easiest and safest ways to help the food bank is to donate. Every $1 provides eight meals! Some companies can match your donation. So, check with yours to see if they’ll do it. You can also shop to give. Here, a percentage of your purchases will go to the food bank. It’s possible you may already shop at some of these businesses.
When you volunteer with Central Texas Food Bank, you have a few options. Be aware that the minimum age to participate varies based on activity. All minors must be accompanied by an adult from their household who is at least 21 years old. The first thing to do is to register with the system. Every volunteer, including minors, needs an account.
You can volunteer at a Mobile Food Pantry. This involves distributing food and providing service to clients. Volunteers assist with setup and teardown at the distribution site. Warehouse volunteers inspect, sort, clean, box, and prepare donations for distribution.